Some 60 young debaters from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe, and the Balkans met in Malta for the first time to debate a sustainable 2030 future, according to a press statement published by the government’s Department of Information (DOI).
The overall objective of the Young Mediterranean Voices programme is to empower the youth to enhance a culture of dialogue to contribute to public policy. Its aim is to hold an intercultural debate and creative thinking on how to transform youth voices to youth agency and leadership for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Youth included in the programme is offered an intercultural debate competition addressing quality education, gender equality, climate action, peace, justice, and strong institutions. Three of the participants and one of the ten judges were Maltese.
“It is our duty to build the next generation of Euro-Mediterranean dialogue leaders to transform debate into action for a sustainable future”, said Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion Carmelo Abela during his address at the first Euro-Med Debate and Policy Forum.
Minister Abela presented awards to the winners of the debate competition for best female debater, best male debater, and the best team. He encouraged the youth to encompass the boldness, the determination, and the foresight to fulfil the vision of the 2030 Agenda.
“As the driving force in modern-day technology, you as young people, can most able promote renewable energy sources, climate change education and awareness, and the protection of the environment while calling for just and inclusive societies”, Mr Abela said.
Calling for further debates
Following the completion of the debate and policy forum, Mr Abela said that now policymakers need to guarantee that the numerous debates and arguments generated on various policies are duly analysed and the most insightful ideas need to be acted upon.
He also said that this approach fits with the UN Youth Strategy 2030 and the EU Youth Strategy 2027 to ensure that the youth is at the forefront of our common agenda. Moreover, he added that the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion together with other entities in Malta stand ready to support the Anna Lindh Foundation in the development of a Young Mediterranean Voices Leadership Academy, as the press release says.
Organised by Aġenzija Żgħażagħ, the Anna Lindh Foundation, the British Council, the Parliamentary Secretariat for Youth, Sport and Voluntary Organisations, and co-funded by the European Commission, it provided an open space for youth from across the Mediterranean as well as empowerment to lead positive change with their innovative ideas and solutions.
The countries of representation of these young delegates were Algeria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Morocco, Palestine, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia, and the United Kingdom.